Background: Due to its high toxicity and bioaccumulation, the existence of mercury in the environment is always a big threat to human beings. In order to control mercury pollution, scientists have put great efforts in the past decades.
Method: Precipitation, adsorption, membrane separation, biological treatment and ion exchange are reviewed as remover for mercury remove. For each material type, we will not only report on the remove mechanism, but also discuss the best areas for it. We have used the correlation method and step-to-step focusing method to present the references.
Results: This review includes 153 references, 4 tables and 4 figures. The manuscript is divided into 3 parts, and the second part is the main body. For better mercury removal, the ways above are compared together. The mechanisms of removing mercury in different ways are summarized in this paper.
Conclusion: With the exploration and application of research, people have mastered a variety of mature technologies for the treatment of mercury-containing waste water. Using inexpensive adsorbents is a cost-effective method for treating low concentrations of heavy metal wastewater. Ion exchange with a fast removal rate has been widely used in the field of heavy metal removal from wastewater. The biological treatment method can effectively treat low-concentration mercury-containing wastewater. While, there is still a need to develop novel mercury removers with high capacity, fast removal rate, low removal limit. Nanomaterials with high specific surface area on substrate with synergistic effects, such high adsorption and ion exchange, are the future research points.